Peak Performance
Michael Kiefer's comprehensive article about the Phoenix Mountain Preserves ("Deconstructing the Phoenix Mountain Preserves," November 26) is one of the best examples of investigative reporting I've seen in years! He really dug in and got an accurate and complete story about the alarming threat to our Valley's crown jewels. I applaud him and New Times for taking this subject to task in such a professional and well-written feature article.

Jan Hancock

Life's a Mitch
Regarding the column ("Honduran Blues," November 19) by Terry Greene Sterling about the Honduran teenager: It was well-researched and well-written--something that isn't always true in any publication. How about a follow-up article on why all the floods and mud slides occurred when Hurricane Mitch hit? Could it be that too many trees were chopped down? As always, the poor suffer for the greed of the already rich who rape the land. We need to read more about this situation, about how we can help the genuine poor and not the few rich who run these countries in Central to South America. (And no, I'm not Hispanic.)

A.T. Summers

It Took A Village
Dewey Webb mentioned Wigwam Village located on Apache Boulevard in Tempe as being torn down in the Seventies ("Turret Attraction," November 19). If I remember correctly, they were still there when I came out to ASU in 1982. We thought they were great and felt that tearing them down for a Burger King parking lot (which didn't last very long) was repulsive.

Am I mistaken in this?
Rebecca Strolic
Ra'anana, Israel

Dewey Webb responds: You're correct; the wigwams were razed in 1983.

Track Meat
I just finished reading David Holthouse's Meat Puppets article ("Shooting Star," November 12) on the decay of Cris Kirkwood and the future of the band.

First of all, Holthouse did a wonderful job putting such a complex story together. I can't recall reading a kinder portrait of a troubled musician in a daily or weekly city newspaper. He managed to get across the hellish situations surrounding the involved parties, while remaining gentle toward Cris and Michelle.

Now I can say I'm pissed off. I hope Cris recovers, but I am certainly glad to hear that Curt, and possibly Derrick, plan to keep the Meat Puppets alive while Curt heads in new directions with his latest project. I've been a huge Meat Puppets fan for years, and was wondering what happened to them. I'm sad to find out about Cris, but hopeful he will pull out of this mess and rejoin the Puppets.

As a musician and a semi-journalist, I want to give you props for a tough story done well. Great job.

Brian Galante
assistant editor, Radio World

I read your article "Shooting Star." It's the best one yet. The story really hit home with me because I myself am a recovering addict. Michelle's story sounded just like mine and every other addict in this world. I used to wonder how the stars partied, and it's all the same. You see, when it comes down to getting high, we are all alike, we do what we can, or go where we can to get high. We will go to any lengths to get it. Back in the day, I would walk from 24th Street and Indian School down to Seventh Street and McKinley to get a $10 rock. It would be late at night so there would be no buses running; even if the buses were running I wouldn't dip into my cop money.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that it was a privilege to read your article. I honestly needed to read it because of all the stresses in my life these days. But you know something? I wouldn't trade them for all the dope in the world. Thanks again.

Olicia Thaxton

Very sad article about a band I loved and saw regularly in the Eighties but hadn't thought of in a long time. You did a fine job telling the story.

Mark Linn
Nashville, Tennessee

This is for Curt and Cris Kirkwood. I've never heard of you or your music. But I feel both of your pain more than you could know. I was a heroin addict for more years than I even believe sometimes. I know all too well the lure. I've lived in the trap. I know how Cris feels in that respect. I also know how his brother Curt feels. My husband also was "a suicide in progress." He opened his arms for the Reaper in December 1996 when he knelt in front of me with his head in my lap, crying like a baby that he just couldn't be sick again (withdrawal). I didn't see the .45 until it was too late. A bullet to the head was preferred over change.

The hard, sad truth is that addicts have no hope for themselves, and don't want any. The last thing Cris wants right now is any kind of reason to quit. I'm sure the death of his wife is one of his millions of reasons to use even more.

Curt, I know how you feel about not knowing what the hell is going on. Way too many people around me were spinning out, going belly up--including my own precious 22-year-old son. His decomposed body was found in the Mojave Desert six months before my husband spun out. It's so hard to understand why addicts don't love themselves as much as we do. We're at a loss to know how we can love them enough on the outside to make them feel it on the inside. I know now that I didn't fail to show my husband enough love. The heroin prevented him from feeling it.

You're right, Curt--it's damned hard to sit back and watch your family die around you, hard to think, create or do anything constructive. But somehow we just have to; if we don't, the monkey eats us, too. I sometimes think I, too, died of my husband's drug addiction. Curt, I've learned it's really okay to be mad at them. But please never lose that hope you have for Cris. He may need it soon.

Phyllis Luppino

BOBin' Along
Regarding John Dougherty's "Take Me Out to the Courtroom" (November 12) on the fight over cost overruns at Bank One Ballpark: Anything that transpires in Arizona requiring the slightest bit of personal integrity always ends with some sort of scandal. It could easily be understood holding back payment for services rendered if the services were defective, but to date I have not heard of any journalist reporting that the roof is going to fall in.

Jerry and his buddies can make a fortune off taxpayers' investments, and, oddly, some hardworking individuals have to await their pay.

Paul Frey

Matter of Course
The New Times 10K is a great charity event that raises money for Special Olympics and the Fresh Start Women's Foundation. Some people cannot participate in the 10K because they happen to be working; right in the center of your course, as a matter of fact.

After talking to five different police officers in five different areas, I was informed that I would have to find a place to park and walk in. I was unable to park in my parking structure; so now I will have to foot the bill for a day of parking and walk to work. What if I was handicapped and could not walk the half-mile or so to work? There needs to be some way to allow vehicles to have access to all of downtown without interfering with the race.

I did not mind the walking as much as having to pay for parking; I was not about to leave my car on the side of the road somewhere. I think this could be a problem if someone who was handicapped or otherwise could not walk [the distance] needed to get to work.

Having a bridge for the runners/walkers to pass over traffic or an area with free parking and some sort of shuttle would remedy this problem. People really do work downtown on the weekend.

Louis Percic
via Internet

I think changing the 10K race site and course was a huge mistake. I was extremely disappointed. I've been doing the race for the last 13 years and always looked forward to it--not anymore if the site doesn't go back to where it used to be.

The former course was so peaceful going through the Encanto area. Now we go through the very desolate downtown Phoenix. The best part of the day was relaxing at Margaret Hance Park, sitting on the grass, listening to the band--in the beautiful, warm sunshine!

Now the after-race activities are held indoors at "The House That Colangelo Built"! I can't believe you sold out to Colangelo!

I implore you--please change it back to where it was! It was a million times better!

Nick Scotto
via Internet

I was one of the thousands who attended and participated in the New Times 10K events. I hope for the sake of what has been the best running event in the Valley that the organizers will consider moving back to the Deck Park for future events. While the ballpark may be a great place for baseball, it is a letdown for the running events held there November 15.

No longer can race fans greet the runners at the finish line; they have to "keep moving, get off the grass." No longer can the runners find water right around the corner from the finish line; instead, they have to make their way into an overcrowded area away from the finish line. No longer can the in-line skaters finish their race at the same finish line as the other racers do. And, last but not least, would you please have the person who figured that the wheelchair participants should finish the race in a grassy area (they do roll a little better on pavement) have his head examined? Let's move it back to the Deck Park where it belongs.

Mark Meinders


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